A sandwich shop employee discovered a newborn baby boy abandoned in the restaurant bathroom Monday in West Covina, California.
Police believe a homeless woman, Mary Grace Trinidad, gave birth to the boy in the Subway bathroom on Monday morning and then abandoned him in the toilet, according to ABC 7 News. Police said Trinidad had a warrant out for her arrest on narcotics charges.
The report explains what happened:
Customers and workers told police they heard a woman screaming in the bathroom for about 15 minutes before she walked out the restaurant bleeding.
A customer heard a baby crying in the bathroom and alerted one of the Subway employees.
“They saw an umbilical cord leading into the toilet. When they looked inside the toilet they found the baby,” Cpl. Rudy Lopez with the West Covina Police Department said.
The crying baby boy was sitting upright in the toilet, but was partially submerged in cool water. The employee immediately grabbed the baby from the toilet and called 911.
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The 911 dispatcher coached the frightened employee to get towels to wrap the baby in and to check his mouth.
The baby, who appeared to be at full term, was taken to Queen of the Valley Medical Center in critical condition.
In a recording of the 911 call, the emergency dispatcher noticed that the baby was crying and told the restaurant employees, “That’s a good thing,” according to KTLA 5 News.
Police said they later found Trinidad in an alley behind a nearby Pep Boys shop and took her to the hospital. She was arrested on charges of attempted murder and child abandonment, according to the report.
Sammy Valdez, who works at another restaurant nearby, told reporters that Trinidad often came in to ask for food.
“I see her all the time. She talks to herself,” Valdez said. “I can tell she’s not mentally stable.”
All 50 states, including California, have laws to protect newborn babies from abandonment. Safe Haven Laws vary from state to state but typically allow mothers who cannot care for their newborns to leave them at a hospital, fire station or police office without legal repercussions. These laws have helped to save hundreds of babies’ lives.